The International Monetary Fund (IMF) confirmed that it would give quake-hit Morocco an 18-month loan of 1.32 billion US Dollars, reports Reuters, September 28.
The IMF’s executive board confirmed on September 28 that the North African country would receive funds to the tune of over a billion USD from its new Resilience and Sustainability Facility. The money will be given in order to help the country following the most destructive earthquake on Moroccan soil in 120 years.
The quake struck the country’s central region on September 8 leaving approximately 2,900 dead and thousands more missing.
The epicentre occurred around 72 km southwest of Marrakech and 56 km west of the Atlas Mountain town of Oukaimeden.
The announcement of the IMF loan comes just over two weeks prior to the annual IMF-World Bank meetings, set to take place in Marrakech, Morocco’s fourth largest city from October 9 to 15.
It is the first time in fifty years that the annual meetings will be held on the African continent. 1973’s meeting took place in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.
The IMF said in a statement that the funds, “will help Morocco address climate vulnerabilities, bolster its resilience against climate change, and seize the opportunities from decarbonisation.”
The IMF and World Bank were given the all clear to host the event in Marrakech on September 18 by the Moroccan authorities however they would have to adapt to circumstances.
The fund’s spokesperson, Julie Kozack, noted that there had been previous plans to host the meetings in the Maghreb country however those plans were ditched twice due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Kozack expressed joy at the first annual meeting being held in Africa since the early 1970s and stated that, “I’m confident that these meetings will showcase the strength of Morocco, the Moroccan people and the Moroccan authorities”.